For a long time, the humble t-shirt was a simple item of clothing that was worn underneath more robust clothing, to stop the body sweating so much.
Then, in the 50s, it was appropriated by stars to show “coolness” , such as Marlon Brando (in the Wild One) and James Dean.
Then there was the undeniably naff phase of sporting “tour” t-shirts, to proclaim your love of a certain musical artist (the older the tee, the better). In fact, I remember going to a Cure gig in 1991 in a plain white T-shirt and felt unfeasilby out of place. I should have been wearing a Pornography tour t-shirt from 1982, for goodness sake.
Then in the 80s, they became fashionable, thanks to the likes of Frankie Goes To Hollywood (Frankie says Relax) and Wham (Choose Life) . This spilled over into a whole cottage industry of meaningless or oh-so-witty slogans on the front of millions of people’s chests.
Celebs made them cool for a while, but they’ve gradually become less and less chic and the worst offenders are the Japanese who usually don’t even know what the words mean.
Now things have got out of hand, though. Slogan t-shirts are now no longer funny, or even clever, simple because they’re worn by the wrong people.
My partner was telling me about one of the worst she’d ever seen recently. A rather large woman, with greasy, lank hair and a dodgy skirt had a large t-shirt stretched over her rolls of fat (let’s not be too PC here), with the following slogan emblazoned on the front:
You can look, but you can’t afford me!
Let’s all start wearing plain white t-shirts again, please!